The Finnish Government set as its goal an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the level of 1990 by 2050, according to Finnish energy company Fennovoima on Wednesday.
The Finnish Energy Ministry commissioned a new country report on Finland which was published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the recommendations of which will be used in forming the country's energy policy.
During the launch event of the publication, Kimmo Tiilikainen, the Finnish minister in charge of energy issues, stated that Finland will consider the IEA’s recommendations when forming policy to reduce its emissions load.
The focus areas of the report are on reducing traffic emissions and on opportunities offered by the bioeconomy. Moreover, it reviewed opportunities offered by combined heat and power production (CHP).
"A traditionally popular energy production method in Finland, CHP is in trouble, because the low market price of electricity has made many of the CHP plants unprofitable," according to Fennovoima.
The company said that Finland's new goal to reduce emissions is based on the renowned Paris Agreement to which Finland has committed to.
"The share of renewable energy sources will be increased to 50 percent, self-sufficiency will be increased, and the consumption of oil will be decreased. Coal will become a banned energy source. The plan is to retain the current total energy consumption level," the company said.
"Emissions come from many sources, such as the production of electricity and heat, traffic, industry, and agriculture. The production of electricity is already relatively emission-free in Finland, but plenty of work is still needed before there are zero emissions from the production of heat and traffic," it added.
It noted that the plan is to reduce emissions from traffic using a variety of means, such as by renewing the motor pool, by promoting energy efficiency, and by using electric and gas-powered cars. Biofuels will also play a role in this change.
The IEA advised Finland to guide its energy policy towards low carbon using several means.
According to the IEA, keeping the policy persistent and predictable is the key.
"It's absolutely necessary to ensure that companies will dare to make investments. The policy on the taxation of fuels and related subsidies must be proportioned with the fuel emissions. The IEA specifically mentions CHP and traffic," said Fennovoima and added that in the case of traffic, the IEA recommended that Finland increase its emission reduction goal and encourage people to switch to newer cars.
The IEA also advocated cooperation in the energy industry with the other Nordic countries and Baltic states.
"In fact, such cooperation is absolutely necessary, because the energy policies of these countries influence each other through the shared electricity market," stressed Fennovoima.
"Keeping in mind all the work that has already been done in the energy sector is important. Emissions have been reduced by one-third during the past ten years, which is a major change. Right now, Finland is preparing its climate plan for the European Commission. Finland will take on the presidency of the European Union next year, and energy and climate issues will surely be discussed,” Minister Tiilikainen commented on the IEA’s recommendations.
By Murat Temizer